Crochet

Yarn Pooling Made Easy

Crochet Yarn Pooling **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

The second Leisure Arts book I am reviewing is called “Yarn Pooling Made Easy” by Marly Bird. The second page of this book has several really good tips, the first of which is:

“It is highly recommended that you watch Marly Bird’s tutorial videos on planned color pooling to better understand how the body is made: http://bit.ly/2hoslgr_CrochetPlannedPoolingPlaylist

I would like to reinforce this recommendation and here’s why. I was really intrigued by this technique right from the start. I had a quick look through the book, including the tips on the second page, and then fell into the trap of picking up some wool and a hook and “having a quick play”. After several rather frustrating experiments I concluded two things:

  1. I suspected the yarn I was experimenting with was not quite suitable.
  2. There was probably a good reason for the strong recommendation to watch the video(s).

Consequently, I sat myself down at my computer and watched the “10 Secrets to Perfect Planned Pooling” video. Well! Suddenly everything made a lot more sense and I was able to follow the instructions a lot more easily – who would have thought it! (One day I might learn – see “I Should Know Better By Now!“) The video also confirmed my suspicion that I needed to use a different yarn.

Yarn Pooling Made Easy
Before
Yarn Pooling Made Easy
After

I have included a photo of my best effort at experimenting before watching the video and another of the sample I made after watching it. While the second sample is still not perfect, it is definitely a big improvement on my first efforts.

This pattern book contains a number of lovely designs with great photos and good instructions. Click on the link in the title of the book above to see more photos on the web site.

I am now hooked on this fascinating technique and would recommend this book as a great tool for getting started. Just remember to make life easier for yourself by watching at least one of the videos before you start experimenting. I also found the general instructions and yarn information at the back of the book very helpful.

Crochet

Mirror Image Scarves

Crochet Scarves

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

The first Leisure Arts book I am going to review is called “Mirror Image Scarves”. I am not generally a scarf person, but I found the patterns in this book really interesting. I was intrigued by the way the scarves were made and by the finished effect, especially when two colours were used.

Some of the scarves feature in the picture at the top, and you can see more photos if you use the link on the book title to click through to the Leisure Arts website. I chose to make a sample using the “Scallops” pattern.

Mirror Image Scarves I took some photos throughout the project to show how the scarf is made. The example in the book used gold and rust, but I used colours I had on hand and was very pleased with the result. I found the pattern straight forward and scarf was relatively quick and easy to make.

The pattern book gives clear, easy to follow instructions. It has good diagrams to explain a number of stitches, as well as a list of abbreviations, symbols and terms. I liked that they included tables for crochet terminology (US/International), yarn weight symbols and names, and crochet hook sizes (US/Metric – mm). I also found the Yarn Information on the inside of the back page very helpful, especially when combined with the information given at the start of the pattern.

The photographs in the book are colourful and give a clear view of the patterns in each scarf. Overall I was very impressed with this book and look forward to using it for other projects.

Cross Stitch

Cross Stitch Embroidery Designs, Patterns And Instructions To Get Started

Cross Stitch Embroidery Designs, Patterns And Instructions To Get Started
We all have interests in life, from music to painting – there’s an artist in all of us. Out of that a large chunk are too busy or inhibited to find time for such activities while a small group are able to fulfill their passion. An artist usually converts his hobbies into full time activity.

Hobbies range from painting to music, from writing to antiques and even embroidery. Embroidery is very much an art form, one that enables you to use a broad range of colors.

Embroidery is like doing a painting or learning the dance steps of your favorite music score. Embroidery takes you a step closer to a finer art form. With the use of a needle you create life by stitching. This is a primitive art form.

There is evidence to prove that embroidery was prevalent during Stone Age. They used strips of leather and bone needles. Today the range is vast from fabrics and threads to design patterns to select from.

Embroidery can be a leisurely hobby, allowing us to make animal prints, sceneries and small but wonderful craft items. We can also decorate items we use daily like hand towels and table mats. I can go on and on about the use of embroidery.

To get started you require certain supplies. First make a choice of cross stitch sewing design, some material for cross stitch, needles, sewing specific threads and a sewing frame.

Fabrics like Aida, Jobelan, Even weave linen and others can be used for creating your own masterpiece. You can choose threads like standard cotton threads, silk threads, DMC flexible cotton threads, wool yarns, metallic and also Perle/Perl fabric threads.

You are not limited to a single thread color, use as many as you like to give the pattern the look you want. Nickel-plated as well as gold plated needles can be used. A round edged needle between the size of 24 or 26 is commonly used to make customary cross stitch designs.

Celtic cross stitch sewing is revered all around the globe for the artistry of the knots and for the unique interlacing patterns. Celtic people were famous for their hand made patterns. They were so engrossed in these patterns that they had one for each day. Today Celtic cross stitch embroidery is known all over the globe as the patterns are easily available, and patterns are now available on the net and in pattern books.

Download the Art of Celtic Cross Stitch ebook at http://www.mycelticcrossstitch.com/1 and discover how to master the art of celtic cross stitch when you visit http://www.mycelticcrossstitch.com, the premier online tips and resources on celtic cross cross stitch patterns & designs.

Find More Cross Stitch Articles

Crochet

Understanding Crochet Instructions

Understanding Crochet Instructions
The basic element in studying crochet patterns and instruction is learning to understand the style of writing and interpreting crochet abbreviations. However, just remember that you don’t have to learn and memorize the symbols and abbreviations immediately because you can always refer to your list when needed.

Crochet directions generally make liberal use of parentheses ( ) and asterisks (*) to show pattern repetitions. For instance, when the pattern instructs you to “repeat from *” you need to examine and look back at the instruction of the row that you currently are working on and then locate the asterisk (*). Crochet the instruction instantly following that asterisk (*).

Generally only one asterisk (*) in a row is found and the “repeats” will bring you to the row ending so that there is no supplementary instruction required for where you should end the repeats.

There are a few patterns that uses a “single asterisk (*)”at the start and at the end of “the repeat”. So that when you arrive to the succeeding “single asterisk (*), you are aware that it is the spot where that “repeat” will be stopped.

At certain times patterns uses “single asterisk (*) and a “double asterisk (**), where the “double asterisk (**)” is normally used to indicate where you need to end the repeat; for instance, a pattern instructs you to “repeat from * to **”. You need to search for, going backwards in the instructions of the round which you are working on and locate the asterisk (*). Then you need to crochet the instructions at once succeeding that asterisk (*) and then continue till such time you arrive to the double asterisk (**), then you need to stop and begin to crochet once more at the course where you stop or left off before making the repeat.

Here are things to keep in mind when looking at a crochet pattern:

1. Crocheting patterns and instructions are worked usually in rounds or rows. Every pattern will spell out if you are doing or working in rounds, rows or mixture of both.

2. Almost all crochet patterns and instructions are generally ranked according to difficulty level such as advanced, intermediate, easy or beginner. Select a pattern with a difficulty level that suits your abilities, to avoid frustration when trying to finish a pattern that has advanced level. As you continue on working and increase your crochet experience, then you can work on to the next difficulty level.

3. It is important to count the stitches you have made as you go on with your work so will be able to keep track of how many more are needed on each round or row as required by the pattern.

4. You will need to verify your gauge. To do so, crochet a sample of about 4 X 4 inches size in the pattern that is used your crochet instructions. When your gauge turned out to be larger than that indicated by the pattern, then use a smaller hook; when your gauge turned out to be smaller, then try using a much larger hook.

5. Enrolling in a crochet class can be very helpful when you are beginning to learn crochet.

When just starting out, never be discouraged for not being able to understand each pattern and its abbreviations. Reading and understanding crochet patterns will take constant practice.